The 2024 Award winners have been announced


Local communities across the region are celebrating today as the five award category winners of the Good Relations Awards 2024 are announced. The event, which took place on 12th March hosted by Mark Simpson was held at Mossley Mill, Newtownabbey.

Co-ordinated by the Community Relations Council and delivered in partnership with The Executive Office, this year’s awards attracted 75 entries. Showcased across each of the five award categories was the increasing level of outstanding community relations, intercultural and peacebuilding work which is having a real impact, improving people’s lives, their outlook for the future, and strengthening community spirit across the region.

Each of the categories were designed to recognise exceptional commitment to good relations work, and provide an opportunity for those who go above and beyond every day, to step forward and shine. 

The event was also attended by the Awards Partners, Volunteer Now, Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA), NI Youth Forum and the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland (CFNI), all of whom encouraged local groups, individuals and organisations from across the region to get involved and to submit nominations for the 2024 Good Relations Awards programme.

Junior Minister Aisling Reilly said:

“The Good Relations Awards showcase the vital role of good relations work in peace building and community cohesion.  They provide an opportunity to recognise the individuals who unite and champion our local communities, the projects that connect us and drive us forward in peace, understanding and cultural respect.

“Communities continue to undertake vital work and dedicate time and resources to improve their local communities. Now, more than ever having healthy, connected and welcoming communities is an essential part of the fabric of our society.

“I would like to congratulate and celebrate all those who were recognised today and also to thank everyone who took the time to put forward a nomination for this year’s Awards.  You have provided us with inspiration and the opportunity to showcase best practice and shared learning for others to follow.”

Junior Minister Pam Cameron said:

“An important part of the 'Together: Building a United Community' (T:BUC) Strategy, is our commitment to improving community relations and continuing our shared purpose to improve relations that reach much deeper and wider into our communities.

“We are committed to working together, and with new and existing partners to deliver a shared society for everyone, and the extended Good Relations Awards programme provides the perfect opportunity to extend this partnership working.

“I am delighted to be here with you today to celebrate the award results and to offer public recognition for the people and projects that are delivering vital good relations work across all our communities.”

Martin McDonald MBE, Chair of the Community Relations Council said: 

“Since their inception in 2006, The Good Relations Awards have played a key role in promoting and sustaining peacebuilding efforts. They celebrate the achievements of those dedicated to this cause, while inspiring others to take action, and fostering a spirit of collaboration and community across the region.

The Good Relations Awards 2024 shine a spotlight on the unsung heroes of the region, celebrating those who tirelessly work towards peacebuilding and fostering community cohesion.

The Community Relations Council is honoured to help recognise the exceptional commitment of individuals and groups who go above and beyond every day to unite and champion our local communities. This year’s winners clearly demonstrate the promotion of peace, understanding, and cultural respect. These people are dedicated peacebuilders making a real difference, strengthening our sense of community and building towards a lasting and sustainable peace for all. Join us in honouring the remarkable efforts of these local champions who are the backbone of our society, tirelessly working towards a better Northern Ireland for everyone.”


The five Award categories and supporting partners are: 

Community Relations Council Exceptional Achievement Award (peace building) – Partner Community Relations Council

Winner: Elizabeth (Betty) Carlisle

Recognition Awards: Harry Maher and Joe McKeown

Good Relations Volunteer of the Year Award – Partner Volunteer Now

Winner: Yvonne Heaney

Recognition Awards: Helen Dunn and James Reynolds

Good Relations Community Champion Award – Partner NICVA

Winner: David Patterson

Recognition Awards: Ioana Stoica and Margaret Cunningham

Good Relations Youth Award (Under 25) – Partner NI Youth Forum

Winner: Crosslink Volunteer Team Youth Initiative

Recognition Awards: Empowering Young Women's Project and Nadia Boudhaim Maguire.

Good Relations Connecting Communities Project of the Year – Partner The Community Foundation

Winner: Waterside Shared Village

Recognition Awards: Naíscoil na Seolta and Martina Byrne, Andy Peters, Catherine Cummings (Rural Communities Connect Project)

The 2024 Award winners have been announced